Trader Talk

Stocks Lurking Near New Highs Again

Editor's Note: Bob Pisani is off, this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.

Stock futures are up this morning on the continued weakness in the dollar and a flurry of economic data before the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

The stronger futures indicate a higher open, with both the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 edging closer to their 52-week highs. Meanwhile, the Dollar Index continues to fall to new 1-year lows, posting its biggest decline in over two weeks this morning.

Gold stocks also rise 3 percent to 4 percent pre-open this morning as gold hits yet another all-time high, breaking above $1,180 an ounce.

Giving futures an additional boost this morning: better than expected October personal income and spending data and a smaller number of weekly jobless claims, which fell to its lowest level for the year. Additionally, while durable goods orders posted a surprising decline (down 0.6 percent vs. up 0.5 percent), the weakness was offset by a significant upwards revision to the September data.

Also being released later this morning: October New Home Sales report and the revised number for the November University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment data.

Other stock highlights this morning:

Tiffany rises 7 percent pre-open as Q3 earnings topped expectations ($0.34 vs. $0.24 consensus) on stronger-than-expected sales (down 3 percent vs. down 7 percent consensus). Same-store sales in the U.S. dropped 10 percent, but that was off-set by a double-digit rise in sales in Europe and Asia.

Following its good Q3 results and its solid November sales so far, the jeweler raises its full-year guidance to $1.88-$1.98, above Street expectations of $1.77.

J. Crew is up 7 percent in pre-market trading after Q3 earnings came in well ahead of estimates ($0.67 vs. $0.59 consensus). Customers continued to respond to the company’s apparel very well with comp. store sales rising 8 percent and internet and phone sales rising 4 percent. Margins also greatly improved from last year, rising nearly 7 percentage points from the year ago period.

Guidance for the fourth quarter is between $0.37-$0.42, inline with current expectations of $0.41.

Deere is down 2 percent despite handily beating estimates ($0.23 vs. $0.03 consensus) The agricultural equipment maker’s Q4 equipment sales were still very poor – falling 26 percent in North America and plunging 35 percent overseas.

Furthermore, weak demand is seen ahead still – with equipment sales falling 10 percent in the first quarter and declining 1 percent in 2010.



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